A hair above freezing. A pair of jays fresh from their ablutions ascend a flaming birch, gleaning insects on their way to the oaks.
Clouds gravid with rain at sunrise. A wood thrush calls quietly. In the top of the tallest oak, a squirrel’s silhouette begins its descent.
After last night’s rain, the sun keeps not coming out. Up in the woods, a breeze in the top of one red oak makes a sudden shower.
A few, tiny patches of snow linger behind clumps of dead stiltgrass. The sun blazes through the thinning crown of an oak; I start to sneeze.
All the birds are calling and then they’re not. I’m remembering a big oak that stood at the woods’ edge when I was a kid—no trace of it now.
The red and scarlet oaks have finally turned their namesake colors, and the whole ridge shines like a fresh gut pile in the sun.
Warm morning after a cold night, and the oaks are shedding leaves: a dry sound as they hit lower branches, like the ticking of many clocks.
Color is creeping into the tall oaks: here a splash of deep orange, there a branch gone burgundy, and just above, a pale smudge of sun.
Oaks sway in the wind, their leaves gleaming in the strong sunlight. Acorns rattle down. A snatch of migrant birdsong I can’t quite place.
Through thinning treetops, I spot a red-tailed hawk flapping to gain altitude. Two red oak leaves spiral high over the yard.